Sunday, February 3, 2013

Degas And The Delighted Docent

The Dancer, Edgar Degas,
part of the Annenberg Collection exhibit
I enjoyed over 20 years ago at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Last Monday I visited three third grade classes as I do each month in my art docent role at our daughter’s elementary school, presenting the “Picture of the Month” with a brief lesson on a particular art period and artist(s) and opportunities for the children to share their observations and reactions.  The focus for this most recent “POM” visit was French Impressionism and Edgar Degas.  His main subjects of the ballet and the race track were obviously intriguing to the students. 
Whenever I ask for comments each month, the first few students will raise their hands, and as they speak enthusiastically about the artwork, their enthusiasm spreads, and more and more hands are raised.  In two of the classrooms last Monday, all but just a couple of the students excitedly voiced what they noticed and appreciated about the artwork.  Some were so eager to participate, they bounced up and down in their seats as they waited for their turn! 

Every month I am delighted and energized by the children’s spirited reactions.  I always feel a rush of exhilaration after these POM sessions.  I wish I could collect their enthusiasm in a magical atomizer and spritz that enthusiasm everywhere!  The open, inquisitive, eager nature of young children is wonderfully refreshing and uplifting.  Taking time to recapture these positive qualities as adults can enhance many moments and experiences in our life. 

This past week, I enjoyed that giddy excitement of a child when…

I took an impromptu beach walk (to fill the time while waiting for our daughter who was attending her ballet and tap class) and spotted whales close to shore.
I took another beach walk, this one planned with a dear friend, and we happily discovered a beachcomber’s bounty.

My husband spotted feathered friends visiting our almond tree, and we noticed new visitors we’d never seen before (and identified them as cedar waxwings.)

What excites you like a child?  Have you recently enjoyed some childlike excitement you'd like to share?